Full course description
This practical addresses the basic concepts essential for mastering the principles of electronics applicable to direct current (DC) and alternating current (AC) circuit analysis. The emphasis is on the basic physics behind electronics, the application of the fundamental laws of electronics to discrete electrical components, and the network theorems used in circuit analysis. The first weeks involve schematic reading, the mathematics behind electronics, and elementary circuit analysis. Here the students acquire the fundamental concepts of DC and AC theory and progresses through capacitive circuits with emphasis on AC circuit analysis, with special emphasis on sinusoidal waveforms, filters and rectifiers.
The practical continues with semiconductor physics, namely diode and transistor characteristics and their applications, most notably operational amplifiers (and comparators).
The next part of the practical entails the study of digital logic, its operations, principles and applications. The course concludes with an introduction to microprocessor circuits and techniques using the Arduino microcontroller.
By the end of this course you will be able to:
- follow a circuit diagram and built a circuit on a breadboard by identifying and using the correct components, supplies and measurement devices to check the circuit.
- collect experimental readings using multimeters and oscilloscopes to fault find and compare device function to theory in DC and AC configurations.
- plot and analyse graphs of results and perform calculations of resistances, power, currents and (various types of (average/RMS)) voltage drops across various sections of circuits or components.
- build and analyse RC filters while calculating their gain, time constants and cut-off frequencies.
- build diode rectifying circuits and identify the benefits of full/half wave/smoothing circuits.
- use op-amps in various configurations to amplify weak signals by calculating and selecting the appropriate resistors and use op-amps as comparators for digital conversion.
- programme and wire up an Arduino using the software to control various circuit devices as inputs and outputs.
- write clear reports outlining experimental observations and how they compare to theory.
- keep clear notes which contain enough information for someone to be able to repeat and test the experiments and builds which you undertook.
- PHY2006: Electronics
A course manual and detailed experiment descriptions will be provided during the practical.